A Three Inch Adorable Wife Hidden in the Sleeve of the Chu King

Chapter 9

Xie Xun looked at Knife Scar Face Man writhing in pain on the ground, sweating profusely and tears streaming down his face, then at Jiang Xiaoxiao's blank stare directed at him.

He pursed his lips, unsure what to make of the situation.

"Xie Xun... Master Xie, Lord Xie!" Knife Scar Face Man cried, his limbs bound, tears welling in his eyes. "I was wrong. I'll repay you ten times the money. Please, have mercy and spare me!"

He vowed never to be so greedy again.

He had assumed Jiang Xiaoxiao was just a naive fool, but she turned out to be a master in disguise!

It must have been an inauspicious day when he decided to try his luck.

What terrible misfortune!

Jiang Xiaoxiao handed a money pouch to Xie Xun.

It was the same one Knife Scar Face Man had stolen from him.

But instead of the original one or two taels of silver, it now contained over ten taels.

Xie Xun took out one tael for himself, then tossed the pouch back at Knife Scar Face Man, looking down at him coldly. "I'll take back my one tael. For the rest, you can pay with one of your fingers."

Upon hearing this, Knife Scar Face Man let out a terrified wail, eyes wide with horror. "W-What are you going to do?!"

Without another word, Xie Xun grabbed his cleaver.

With one swift motion, the blade fell.

The courtyard was filled with Knife Scar Face Man's bloodcurdling screams, like a pig being slaughtered.

Jiang Xiaoxiao watched the entire scene unfold without the slightest change in expression.

After kicking Knife Scar Face Man out of the courtyard, she turned to Xie Xun.

"I'm hungry. Is there anything to eat?"

Xie Xun suddenly realized he hadn't started the fire yet.

He had been upset about her leaving without a word, but now...

"Just a moment."

Xie Xun washed his hands and headed to the kitchen area.

That afternoon, he had to help Chen Sixi exorcise an evil spirit.

Exhausted from staying up all night, Jiang Xiaoxiao pushed open the door to the nursemaid's room, intending to rest for a bit.

Xie Xun cooked a large bowl of noodles and three eggs.

When he brought the food to the main hall, Jiang Xiaoxiao was nowhere to be seen.

He went to the east wing, where the door was slightly ajar.

Jiang Xiaoxiao was lying on the bed, seemingly fast asleep.

The eggs would be fine, but the noodles would turn stale if not eaten promptly.

Xie Xun hesitated, debating whether to wake her, when Jiang Xiaoxiao opened her eyes herself.

"Smells good. What did you make?"

"Noodles," Xie Xun replied.

After a pause, he added, "A big bowl."


Much to Xie Xun's surprise, Jiang Xiaoxiao polished off the entire large bowl of noodles and three eggs, leaving nothing behind.

As she set down her chopsticks, Xie Xun asked, "You didn't sleep last night. Will you be able to go into town this afternoon?"

"A single night without sleep is nothing for a cultivator like me," Jiang Xiaoxiao said.

Xie Xun didn't understand the ways of cultivation, so he simply said, "If you're too tired, don't force yourself."

But of course Jiang Xiaoxiao intended to go.

Chen Sixi was someone Xie Xun wanted to help. If she could help Chen Sixi, it would make Xie Xun happy.

Chen Sixi had been anxiously awaiting their arrival for a day and a half. Finally, the person he had been longing for was here.

Upon seeing Xie Xun, Chen Sixi was so overwhelmed with emotion that he nearly called out to his ancestors.

One look at Chen Sixi's haggard, sunken eyes told Xie Xun that the man probably hadn't slept the previous night.

Chen Sixi glanced behind Xie Xun. "Didn't you say you were bringing a master? Why is there a young lady here?"

"She is the master," Xie Xun said.

Chen Sixi immediately broke down in tears. "Brother, I'm calling you brother out of desperation. This is a matter of life and death. Please don't trick me!"

Without further explanation, Xie Xun turned to Jiang Xiaoxiao.

After appraising Chen Sixi, Jiang Xiaoxiao declared, "We must find the root cause before midnight, or it will be too late."

Chen Sixi was utterly bewildered. Wiping away his tears, he said, "Miss, you may be a beauty, but this is no trifling matter of exorcising evil spirits. It's not child's play."

Ignoring Chen Sixi's ramblings, Jiang Xiaoxiao asked, "Has anyone in your household passed away in the past year?"

"No!" Chen Sixi shook his head vigorously.

"What about a recently deceased apprentice at your carpentry shop?"

"No one like that either," Chen Sixi said. "Ma Liu is an orphan. He started learning the carpentry trade from my father at age thirteen, but no one knows who his parents were."

Jiang Xiaoxiao pondered for a moment. "If there are no deaths, then there is another possibility."

Seeing Jiang Xiaoxiao's knowledgeable demeanor, Chen Sixi recalled mocking Xie Xun earlier, only for something untoward to happen.

He immediately became respectful. "Miss, can you really divine the cause?"

Once again ignoring his question, Jiang Xiaoxiao asked, "When did you first notice something was amiss?"

"Just the past couple of days, I suppose," Chen Sixi recalled. "Despite the sweltering heat, I kept feeling chills down my back, like a cold gust of wind blowing past."

Shuddering at the memory, he continued, "What was the exact time of Ma Liu's death?"

At the time, it was Sonzi who had informed Chen Sixi of Ma Liu's passing, so he could only relay the details Sonzi had provided to Jiang Xiaoxiao.

Jiang Xiaoxiao went into the courtyard and used the time of death to calculate and divine the root cause based on the celestial stems and terrestrial branches.

Xie Xun remained inside.

Chen Sixi whispered, "Hey, Xie Xun, is this master you brought really reliable?"

Xie Xun replied calmly, "The one who told you not to leave your home for three days was her."

Chen Sixi's eyes widened in shock, and he fell silent.

When Jiang Xiaoxiao returned, Chen Sixi regarded her with a newfound reverence.

"Master, have you discerned the cause?" he asked tentatively.

"Has anyone from your household recently traveled to the western outskirts of the county?" Jiang Xiaoxiao inquired.

Chen Sixi pondered for a moment. "The wood for our carpentry shop is sourced from the western outskirts. In the past two days, only Ma Liu has been there."

Realization dawned on him, and he exclaimed, "Master, could Ma Liu have been possessed by an evil spirit?"

"Not possession, but he has offended the spirits. We need to go to the western outskirts," Jiang Xiaoxiao said.

Hearing this, Chen Sixi clung to a bedpost in fright. "C-Can I stay behind?"

Xie Xun frowned. "If you don't go, who will show us the way?"

"I have a general idea about the situation in the western outskirts," Old Man Chen said as he entered from outside, shaking his head at his son's cowardice.

"Father?" Chen Sixi looked at his father in disbelief. "What happened in the western outskirts?"

Old Man Chen sat down, his expression grave. "A few days ago, Ma Liu went to the western outskirts to gather wood. When he returned, he told me about something he witnessed.

He said he accidentally saw a group of people performing ritual ceremonies in the forest.

But instead of a proper burial mound, there was only a pit where they buried the deceased.

From their conversation, Ma Liu learned that the deceased was a woman who had been beaten to death by her mother-in-law, who then secretly buried her.

The day of the burial was an inauspicious one according to the calendrical calculations.

By the time this family realized something was amiss, someone else had already died. That's when they decided to seek help from ritual masters."

Old Man Chen looked remorseful. "If only I had known sooner that Ma Liu would... I should have had someone take a look at him."

Chen Sixi grew increasingly confused. "But what does this have to do with Ma Liu?"

"Originally, nothing," Jiang Xiaoxiao said. "But the ritual masters they hired couldn't suppress the vengeful spirits below, so they resorted to a practice called 'transferring the grievance' to shift the resentment of the deceased onto someone else.

And so, Ma Liu became the substitute corpse."